Today, I'm officially unveiling my first group coaching program, Treat Yourself. I could possibly be biased, but personally, I think it's AMAZING. You can read all about it right over here

But I've gotten a few rather pointed inquiries... how the hell is self kindness related to sex??? 

It does seem a little like a deviation from my usual spiel. But I promise, it's not. 

See, having a fantastic sexual experience requires you to get out of your head. You have to put your brain on the shelf for awhile, and actually *gasp* ENJOY yourself. Most importantly, you have to let go.
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photo credit: admitchell08 via photopin cc
You have to let go of all your insecurities about your body. What you look like, what you sound like, possibly the weird scrunchy thing you're doing with your nose.... Because right now, in this moment? It's all perfect.

You have to let go of all your fears of inadequacy. You're having sex, right? That automatically makes you more than adequate.

You have to let go of all your worries--the mundane, the magical, and everything in between. The electric bill can get paid tomorrow. The kids really are sleeping. In THIS place, all that matters is the spark of connection between you and your partner. 

And the biggie....

You have to let go of the process. The getting there. Worrying about your orgasm is quite possibly the quickest way to derail it. 

Look, sex is the ultimate act of self love. It's a gift you give to your partner, sure, but it's also one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Great sex increases endorphin production, and floods your body with all those feel good hormones like serotonin and oxytocin. So that's good, yeah?

Except....

A rather sizable number of my clients have confessed to me that the most difficult part of getting into the mood and enjoying sex is that they can't shut their brains OFF. They just can't seem to let go of all that stuff up there. They want to. They just don't know how.

And that's where self kindness comes in. Perhaps the most fundamental part of treating yourself with kindness comes with learning how to banish the negative voices in your head. I've been practicing self kindness for years, but it was only within the last year that I really figured out the impact of all that negative self talk. 

The worst part is that negative self talk is subconsciously reinforced, constantly. Americans especially believe that it's motivating, when in fact, the opposite is true. Negative self talk increases adrenaline and cortisol, the same hormones that are activated during a fight-or-flight response. It's the equivalent of punching yourself in the gut. Do you fight? Do you run away and hide? And you do this ALL DAY. EVERY DAY. TO YOURSELF.

Meanwhile, positive self talk (also known as, uh, praise), increases production of serotonin, oxytocin, dopamine. Sound familiar? Yeah, being NICE to yourself has all the same feel good stuff as an orgasm. Why would you ever say no to that?

How you talk to yourself impacts EVERYTHING, but most especially your sex life. But. And there's a big but here. Learning how to modify your self talk is the work of a lifetime. You've been programmed to think this way. If you're interested in exploring this topic on your own, I strongly recommend you start with the work of Kristin Neff and Brene Brown. Their TED talks in particular, are an easy, accessible place to start. 

However, my guess is, for a lot of you, all of this is just simply TOO overwhelming. The good news is, I've done all the research for you, and I've put together a program that will teach you not just how to banish the negative voices, but also how and what to replace them with. I've also designed a couple of fiendishly clever ways to help keep you on track, so that when the voices inevitably come back, you have weapons to fight them with. 

You can do this. And the best part is, you DON'T have to do it alone. Let me show you the way to a happier, sexier, kinder, you.
 
 
Touch yourself.

I say those words a lot.

If your brain goes to masturbation first, you and I can be frans. But it’s not just about that, not even close. Our skin is the largest sensory organ in our body, and it’s also the most neglected. Oh, you might slap on some lotion every once in a while, maybe some coconut oil for the crunchy set.

But I bet you can’t remember the last time you touched yourself for the sheer sensory joy of it. A cursory neck rub maybe, an angry scrub with the loofah, perhaps… but when was the last time you rubbed your hands over your skin and enjoyed it? Tuesday after never, I’m sure.
Touch is a beautiful thing. And in our society, there’s not near enough of it. 

We Americans have the largest personal space bubble in the known world. We keep each other at arm’s length, even in close, personal relationships. Most of us have to really focus to maintain a sustained physical relationship, because even casual touch is mostly frowned upon. 

I am an awkward hugger. I automatically want to hug people I have a connection with, and it has made for some interesting situations over the years. I had a doula client who I hugged the second she walked through the door for our interview (she found me on FB). And then I became slightly apprehensive about it. Like… was that too much? Should I have felt her out before I just automatically hugged? And THEN, because I was so worried about this, I accidentally rebuffed a hug from HER… and then it was really awkward, because now neither one of us had any idea if we should hug or not hug. I did eventually make a joke out of it (because that’s my way), and it was fine after that.

But the point is, we are awfully strange about touch. And I’ll be perfectly honest, I think at least PART of that awkwardness is that we touch ourselves in only the most cursory of ways. 

Even our masturbation is perfunctory. (Don’t tell me that you don’t secretly have a goal to rub one out as fast as possible, so you can roll over and go to sleep.)

And where does that leave us??? Not knowing how we liked to be touched, that’s how. 

Wanna know the secret to the best sex ever? Knowing what turns you on and being able to adequately communicate it to your partner. That’s it. 

But in order to know what turns you on, you gotta fucking touch yourself. You have to explore your body—and not just your genitalia. That’s part of it, yes, but not the whole part. 

And look, this sounds daunting. “When the fuck am I gonna have time to do this shit?” I hear you. But you don’t have to do it all at once. 

After your next shower, take fifteen or twenty minutes and just rub some lotion in. (I strongly, strongly recommend coconut oil for this. And it’s great for your skin.) Start with your feet, and work your way on up. Feel your skin underneath your hands. Feel the definition of your muscles, your bony protrusions, your soft and squishy parts (we all got ‘em). 

Don’t be fucking critical. Don’t do this in front of a mirror. Sit on your bed or in a comfy chair and actually enjoy this. It’s the only body you got, remember? Enjoy the process, and then put your most favorite clothes or jammies on over your freshly polished skin. 

Even putting those clothes on is a sensory experience if you allow it to be. The fabric glides or sticks by turn, running over your arms, your legs, your torso. Enjoy the clean cotton of fresh undies. Natural fibers are always best, but wear what you love. Whatever. Just enjoy the feeling of skin and cloth, and TOUCH.

Look, if your eyes go bad, you get glasses. Hearing? Miracle Ear to the rescue, baby. But touch? We don’t do anything about that. We don’t cultivate it, we don’t develop it, and we don’t indulge in it, near enough.

So do yourself a favor, and go fucking touch yourself.
 
 
One of my personal blogging heroines is Nicole Antoinette (among other things, she cusses almost as much as I do). Awhile back, she wrote a really spectacular piece about taking a break from her boyfriend of over three years. She said that no one talked enough about relationships, unless they were either hilariously bad, or romantic comedy-esque good (I totally agree). And that, “so much gets left unsaid in the huge spectrum of love and heartbreak that falls in between. But that’s where 99% of us live….” And that, every now and then, "you have to admit that even though you love each other and care about each other, sometimes that isn’t enough."

 
 
The thing about lubricants, is that pretty much everyone uses them, but they don’t give a whole lot of thought as to what’s in them. Lubricants are a big business, because no one wants to have dry sex. Really, may as well not HAVE sex at that point. Commercially, you have a fair amount of options, ranging from whatever liquid nastiness they can cram into a bottle, to silicone, to that gold standard, gynecologist recommended KY© Brand Jelly. (Which really only increases my general contempt of gynecologists.)

 

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    I'm Briar. I make talking about sex fun. Almost as fun as actually having sex. Almost.

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